Last April, Google added another ‘supplementary algorithm’ to its current host (including Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and others.) This new algorithm, nicknamed Mobilegeddon! (you are required to put it in bold with the exclamation mark, by the way), affects about 50% of all searches. Specifically, it affects the 50%+ of all searches that come from mobile devices.
The upshot is pretty simple: if you have a webpage (and it is by page, not by website as most of Google’s other algorithms target) that is ‘mobile unfriendly,’ Google will penalize it to the depths of the SERPS, but only if the search is coming from a mobile device. So you could sit at your desktop and type a search, and then whip out your iPad and do an identical search at the same time, and get very different results because the iPad’s search results will be skewed heavily toward mobile-friendly webpages.
What does this mean for you in terms of actual business practice? Simple: it means that if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website (or at least a couple of pages on your website), you need to hire an expert to do some high-end mobile website design for you. Ideally, you would have one mobile-friendly version of every landing page your website contains, so that you don’t lose any traffic.
What does mobile-friendly mean? Well, on this, Google is pretty clear. It means:
- Don’t use any bits that many smartphones can’t process (i.e. Flash, Shockwave).
- Don’t use text that would be too small to see on a smartphone screen.
- Don’t pack your links so close together that someone with Fat Finger Syndrome would have trouble tapping them.
- Either use a Responsive Design setup that adjusts your website based on what kind of device is viewing the page, or use a mobile redirect that will send a mobile customer to a webpage that is mobile-friendly.
It’s that simple — if you can follow those rules, you can ignore the Mobilegeddon! update. If you need to make some changes to take advantage, don’t wait! The faster you can get your site updated to take the new mobile-friendliness rules into account, the faster you can recover the business you’ve been losing since April.